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Personal Finance Gold

4 Best Online Gold Dealers

Online gold dealers make it easy to purchase high-quality physical gold. However, unscrupulous sellers can charge exorbitant prices or deliver inferior metals, so it’s important to work with a reputable gold dealer you can trust.

Keep reading to learn which gold dealers have a reputation for excellence and how to decide which company is right for you.

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best overall
4.9
Best for investment support
4.7
Best metal descriptions
4.6
Best buy-back program
4.4

The best places to buy gold online

Here are our picks for the best online gold dealers based on reputation, track record, customer reviews, available resources and support, and scores with consumer rating agencies.

Best overall: American Hartford Gold

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Over $1 billion of precious metals delivered with thousands of satisfied customers
  • Up-to-the-minute pricing on metals
  • Metals shipped in nondescript packaging for privacy

Founded in 2015, American Hartford Gold is based in Los Angeles, California, and also has offices in Woodland Hills, California, and West Palm Beach, Florida. The company offers gold and silver coins and bars for sale with many eligible for a precious metals IRA.

Educational information and tools for precious metals investors are available online, including a free gold and silver information guide, interactive charts, informative articles, market news, and commentary.

American Hartford Gold has an online catalog of its gold and silver coins and bars. Details of each item are available, and those that are IRA-eligible are clearly marked. However, you will need to call the company for pricing information. The company will ship your metals to a storage facility you select.

Pros

  • Excellent customer reviews

  • 7-day satisfaction guarantee

  • 4-time honoree on the Inc 5000 list

  • Experienced leadership

  • Robust customer education resources available online

Cons

  • Must call a representative for pricing

  • No guaranteed buyback program (though it buys back metals and recommends customers reach out to see whether it’s available)

Best for investment support: Lear Capital

LendEDU rating: 4.7 out of 5

  • Allows up to 24 hours for you to review your order and cancel without any fees
  • Pricing for many items displayed on its website
  • Free precious metals IRA setup and storage

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Lear Capital has been in business since 1997. The company offers a precious metals IRA and sells gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars. Lear Capital is rated A- by the Better Business Bureau and AAA by the Business Consumer Alliance.

Lear Capital offers a free app on Apple and Android called Lear Gold and Silver Daily that provides real-time spot prices for gold and other precious metals. Customers can also purchase bullion, research numismatic rare coins, and sell coins, including consignments and auctions.

The company sells gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars, listed by country of origin (American or “World”) and metal type. Lear offers storage for metals held in self-directed IRAs through the Delaware Depository.

Pros

  • 24 years of business and over $3 billion in transactions

  • 24-hour risk-free guarantee

  • Free app and educational information for investors

  • Pricing is displayed on its website for some metals

  • Inventory includes gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars

Cons

  • Not all metals have pricing displayed

Best metal descriptions: Noble Gold

LendEDU rating: 4.6 out of 5

  • Comprehensive descriptions of all offered metals
  • Assistive and knowledgeable staff to guide you
  • Excellent customer reviews and ratings

Noble Gold is based in Pasadena, California, and has made it a mission to offer clients a safe way to buy precious metals and preserve their wealth. Online reviews note its excellent customer service and professionalism.

The company offers a variety of precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins. Noble Gold also sells platinum and palladium bars and rare coins. Customers can purchase metals directly or as part of a precious metals IRA.

Noble Gold publishes in-depth descriptions of each metal, a free investment guide, and its website contains comprehensive educational information for new and experienced investors. Customers who buy precious metals from Noble Gold are guaranteed to be able to sell them back to the company.

Pros

  • Detailed metal descriptions facilitating informed decisions

  • Excellent customer support

  • Guaranteed buy-back program

  • Start a precious metals IRA in just five minutes

  • Knowledgeable and experienced advisors

Cons

  • No price-match guarantee

Best buy-back program: Goldco

LendEDU rating: 4.4 out of 5

  • Has a buy-back program that guarantees the highest available price
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Top-rated gold company and award-winner for best customer service

Goldco has been in business since 2006 and has placed more than $2 billion in gold and silver during that time. The company sells gold and silver coins and bars and also offers precious metals IRAs. However, you’ll need to call and speak to a representative for pricing information.

The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and excellent ratings on Trustpilot. Customer reviews note the company has professional and knowledgeable representatives, which make for a positive purchase experience.

Goldco’s website provides educational resources, including a beginner’s guide to gold, market insights, and articles about the latest precious metals news.

When it comes time to liquidate your precious metals, Goldco offers a buy-back program that is “guaranteed at the highest price.”

Pros

  • Established company with more than $2 billion of gold and silver placed

  • Buy-back program with guaranteed highest price

  • Excellent customer reviews

  • 2023 Best Customer Service award from Money.com

  • Offers free wealth protection kit

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer platinum or palladium

What is a gold dealer?

Gold dealers typically sell investment-grade bullion, coins, bars, and other forms of gold online or at a physical location. They may also offer other precious metals for sale and often provide self-directed precious metals IRAs.

You can generally compare metals prices from multiple dealers and make an informed decision based on factors, such as price transparency, selection, and customer service.

Most dealers offer secure home delivery or the option to store your metals in an insured depository, especially if you hold them in an IRA. (The IRS requires that metals held in an IRA be stored in a secure vault.)

Dealers often carry insurance that covers the metals they store for customers. Many also offer insurance on metals shipped to your home. If they offer this service, you may be able to sell your metals to a gold dealer.

Our expert discusses the risks

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

If you aren’t using a well-known and reputable dealer, it’s possible that the gold is not authentic and customer service is poor. Be sure to do your research before purchasing gold from an online dealer. An alternate option to investment exposure to gold is to open an investment account and purchase a gold exchange-traded fund (ETF)—but if you’re seeking to own tangible gold, this wouldn’t satisfy that wish.

How to identify the most reputable gold dealers

It’s important to be aware of potential scams when choosing an online gold dealer. Buying gold online is safe as long as you purchase from a dealer with a good reputation and track record.

Here’s how to evaluate a dealer before buying:

  • Research the company: Start by checking the dealer’s website. Does it provide comprehensive information, or is it short on details? Look at the “About Us” page to see how long the company has been in business and where it is based. Then, compare that information to the company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau or the website Crunchbase to confirm it’s accurate.
  • Check online reviews: Read the reviews on several sites, such as Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and Google. Look for common themes in customer comments, such as concerns about pricing or communication. If all the company’s positive reviews use almost identical language, that could be a sign the reviews are fake.
  • Compare prices: All dealers will charge a markup, also known as a premium. This is how they make money, so you can expect it. However, some unscrupulous dealers charge exorbitant fees. Check the spot price of gold and compare prices from several dealers to be sure you’re getting a fair price.
  • Watch out for high-pressure tactics: The best companies will take the time to get to know you and your investing goals and explain the best options for you. If a sales representative pressures you to make an immediate decision or promises an unbelievable deal, move on. That is not the sign of a quality gold dealer.

What is the best company for me to buy gold from?

Once you have identified reputable gold dealers, it’s time to narrow your options and find one that is right for you. 

To do that, ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of gold appeals to me? Each dealer will have its own inventory of precious metals, which may include coins, bars, and rounds. Look for a dealer that has your preferred items.
  • Do I want to buy online or in person? Online gold dealers are convenient, but some people prefer to shop in person. Be sure to vet any local gold dealers to ensure they are a proven business and not a fly-by-night establishment.
  • Can I return a purchase? Check for return policies and satisfaction guarantees, but be careful of potential restocking fees. Also, look for buy-back programs that will allow you to sell your gold back to the dealer when you’re ready to liquidate your investment.
  • Is the company’s pricing transparent? You want to get the best value for your money, and companies should be upfront about their pricing. If prices aren’t listed on the dealer’s website, you may have to call. However, a representative should respond quickly with reliable, transparent information.
  • Are payment options convenient? Before you proceed to the payment portion of a transaction, be sure the dealer will accept your preferred payment method. Credit cards, wire transfers, electronic funds transfers, PayPal, and cryptocurrency are some of the payment methods gold dealers might accept. 

Our expert recommends: Evaluate gold dealers using these criteria

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

Make certain the dealers you’re comparing are all reputable and established. Avoid high-pressure, “too good to be true” promises or guarantees. Confirm that the dealer is insured. Request how it reports account balances and transaction history. It could benefit you to understand how they are regulated. These criteria are important to make sure your source is reputable, your investment is insured, and you’re communicated with about your investment. With respect to investment returns, gold will hold a value, just as a stock or bond would, and you don’t have control over that. But fees can affect your return, so be aware of hidden fees or a dealer’s high fees that could eat into your investment value. Also, doing your due diligence when seeking an online gold dealer can help protect your investment return from going to zero due to fraud or other illegal activities of the online gold dealer.

FAQ

Can I buy gold from multiple online dealers?

The short answer is yes. You can purchase from multiple online gold dealers. You could also buy from one dealer and sell to another; however, the price competition in this space is fierce, so you might find it difficult to make a profit.

Not all gold dealers are equal, so it’s important to do your homework before doing business with them.

Evaluate them based on reputation, pricing transparency, customer and third-party reviews, ratings with the Better Business Bureau and similar agencies, and whether they have a physical address.

Some gold dealers offer perks for repeat customers, such as periodic promotions like free storage, no-fee-for-life with specific account minimums, or affiliate or referral programs.

Where can I store the gold that I purchase?

There are three main storage options for gold:

  • Home storage
  • Bank safe-deposit box
  • Depository

If your gold is held in an IRA, it must be kept at a depository, per IRS rules. Depository storage fees vary, but they generally run a few hundred dollars a year, depending on the value of your assets.

Gold stored at home should be kept in a secured location, and both home storage and bank storage may require the purchase of additional insurance to protect your investment.

Is it better to buy bars or coins?

New gold investors often ask whether they should buy coins or bars. It depends on your situation, preferences, and budget. The following are important differences to consider.

Gold barsGold coins
Come in multiple sizes and weightsWide selection and variety 
Suitable for almost any budgetIdeal for trading and exchanging
Cost less to hold for the long termLower market risk
Less expensive to manufactureRelatively easy to sell
Lower premium than gold coinsLiquid
Less portability and flexibilityPortable
May be more difficult to resellCollectible

What causes the price of gold to fluctuate?

While gold can be a sound investment that holds its value over time, investors often don’t understand how gold prices are determined.

Unlike stocks, for example, gold isn’t influenced by outside entities’ performance. Its price is based on its intrinsic value, which may rise or fall in response to economic instability or geopolitical uncertainty.

Gold’s price is the same worldwide; however, it is converted into local currencies, so participants can purchase gold priced in line with their specific currency.

Other factors also determine the price of gold:

  • Fluctuations in the U.S. dollar: When the dollar declines in value, demand for gold often rises, along with its price.
  • Natural disasters and pandemics: These events typically reduce gold production; therefore, its price increases. The uncertainty also creates additional demand for gold as investors seek a flight to safety.
  • The volume of gold mined: The more gold mined, generally, the less expensive it is. Perceived scarcity in the gold supply tends to increase the price.

What other options do I have for investing in gold?

The ways to invest in gold go beyond buying the physical metal. These include IRAs, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs),  and mining stocks.

Here are the basics of each one.

OptionWhat it isWhere to invest
Gold IRATax-advantaged retirement accountSelf-directed IRA set up by an approved custodian
Gold exchange-traded fund (ETF)Fund that holds physical goldBrokerage account
Mining stocksShares in a publicly traded mining companyBrokerage account

How we determined the best online gold dealers

We determined our ratings for the gold dealers above by reviewing more than 20 companies based on several factors, including customer reviews, business details, customer experience, metal offerings, pricing transparency, shipping protection, and buy-back policies.

Once we assigned a score, we identified where each company stood out among its competitors to create our best-for designations.

Recap of the best gold dealers

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best overall
4.9
Best for investment support
4.7
Best metal descriptions
4.6
Best buy-back program
4.4